13th Mar, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

  Lot 32

1934 Packard Eight Convertible Victoria
Automotive Art Deco royalty

Sold for £56,250

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: AMX 343
Chassis No: 377108
MOT: Exempt

PLEASE NOTE: The vendor has lost the V5C Registration Document for this lot. However, he has agreed to pay the £25 fee for a replacement one to be issued. Also, Omicron Engineering have contacted us to say that they are happy to supply the new owner with a duplicate set of invoices detailing all the restoration work that they carried out on the Packard.

  • Highly sought after Eleventh Series Packard and decidedly rare in right-hand drive
  • Notably handsome Dietrich coachwork
  • Current ownership since 1996
  • Extensively restored by Omicron Engineering on a 'no expense spared basis' between 1997-1999 and just 8,200 miles since

By the early 1930s, Packard had arguably become the last word in American automotive fashion. Outselling rival Cadillac by three to one, its distinctive tombstone grilles graced the drives of many a business tycoon, film star and politician. Yet behind the glitz Packards remained machines of real substance, the marque recording a whole host of US car industry firsts including: the steering wheel, H-pattern gearshift, V12 engine, thermostatic engine cooling, four-wheel brakes, hypoid rear axle, air conditioning, automatic overdrive, and torsion bar-suspension. The Eleventh Series Packards, which debuted on August 21st 1933, are particularly sought after by collectors due to their flamboyant, art deco styling. The last ‘Series’ to feature chrome radiator shells (vertically set), they also sported voluptuous, skirted wings, split bumpers and a novel, taillight-integrated fuel filler. Available in Eight, Super Eight or Twelve guises, derivatives of the former were lighter and more wieldy than their larger siblings. Notably refined, the 320 cu in (5.2 litre) straight-eight engine that powered the Eleventh Series Packard Eight developed some 120hp @ 3,200rpm. Allied to three-speed, all-synchromesh manual transmission, it provided relaxed performance. For many the pick of the ‘Custom Catalog’ designs, the Convertible Victoria aped the aesthetics of a horse drawn carriage with its lack of rear three-quarter windows. Crafted by the Murray Corporation of America under its Dietrich Inc sub-brand, the open four- / five-seater incorporated a nicely engineered three-position soft-top roof, usable boot and twin, side-mounted spare wheels. Typically expensive at $2,980, the Convertible Victoria had a majesty all its own. Of the 8,000 Eleventh Series cars made across the Eight, Super Eight and Twelve ranges, just 837 were destined for Canada or other export markets.

One of the scarce right-hand drive Eleventh Series Packard Eights made, chassis 377108 was supplied new via the marque’s UK concessionaire Leonard Williams Co Ltd of 36 Berkeley St, London W1. Bringing a touch of transatlantic glamour to the Capital’s streets, the Convertible Victoria was first road registered as ‘AMX 343’ on 31st January 1934. Slotting between Rolls-Royce’s 20/25 and Phantom II models size-wise (Packard would subsequently build Rolls-Royce aero engines under licence during World War Two), the four- / five-seater was more technologically advanced than either. Showing just two former keepers to its V5C Registration Document, the Packard entered the current ownership during November 1996. Entrusted to Omicron Engineering of Norfolk for a ‘body off, chassis up’ restoration the following year, ‘AMX 343’ emerged in 1999 having been thoroughly mechanically and cosmetically rejuvenated. A testament to the quality of Omicron Engineering’s work, the Convertible Victoria remains highly presentable some twenty-five years later. Finished in Maroon with Cream pinstriping and Light Brown leather upholstery, the four- / five-seater saw regular usage up until 2012 when the vendor’s health started to decline. Garaged alongside the likes of a Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider, the Packard was awoken from its slumbers in late 2023. Currently running and driving, it would benefit from further recommissioning before taking to the roads once more. Understood to have covered some 8,200 post-refurbishment miles, the Convertible Victoria is more usable than many a pre-WW2 car thanks to the addition of a more modern overdrive mechanism.

The Twelfth and subsequent ‘Series’ featured radiator shells that were not only painted but angled back slightly as the marque began to embrace streamlining. Hence, there are those who fete the Eleventh Series cars as representing the zenith of Packard’s art deco styling. As a right-hand drive, UK-supplied Convertible Victoria, ‘AMX 343’ is a rare machine indeed and surely one that deserves a place in another collection? Offered for sale with V5C Registration Document and history file.

PLEASE NOTE: The vendor has lost the V5C Registration Document for this lot. However, he has agreed to pay the £25 fee for a replacement one to be issued. Also, Omicron Engineering have contacted us to say that they are happy to supply the new owner with a duplicate set of invoices detailing all the restoration work that they carried out on the Packard.

For more information, please contact:
Damian Jones
07855 493737


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 13th Mar, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

To enquire about entering your classic or performance car into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click here: Enter Your Classic Motorcar 

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Tues 12th March from 12pm
Wed 13th March from 9am

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